So, I had planned to write today’s post on Ash Wednesday, Lent, and answering some of the related questions I’ve encountered as a Catholic at a Lutheran-affiliated college (If you’re interested, check out FAQs about Lent). Life had other plans.
Earlier this year, I officially declared my History major. My favourite professor became my official advisor and I felt a sense of belonging that I’d lacked in saying I was an intended member of this group.
Of course, I’m absurdly ambitious and couldn’t stop there. Eventually, I will be able to say “Hello! I’m a History-English double major with a Civil War Era Studies minor at this wonderful institution!” [To clarify– I DO NOT WANT TO TEACH in the traditional sense. I want to become a Licensed Battlefield Guide with the National Park Service. Everyone assumes the former.]
Today, I took the second step in this adventure; I declared my CWES minor! The representative remarked that I now hold all of the benefits of this declaration, that it was kind of like the Wizard of Oz. Being the theatrical person I am, this prompted Wicked The Wizard and I to play through my head.
“When I meet the Wizard, once I prove my worth; and then I meet the Wizard- what I’ve waited for since, since birth! And, with all his Wizard wisdom, by my looks, he won’t be blinded; do you think the Wizard is dumb? Or, like Munchkins, so small-minded? No! He’ll say to me, ‘I see who you truly are – A girl on whom I can rely!’ And that’s how we’ll begin, the Wizard and I….”
In my latest obsession, The Last Five Years [How much theatre can I fit into this post? A lot.], Jeremy Jordan’s Jamie asks Anna Kendrick’s Cathy “Don’t you think that now’s a good time to be the ambitious freak you are?” [The link is of the original Jamie, Wicked’s Norbert Leo Butz- yet another connection!]. I should feel strange about a lyric insinuating I’m a “freak” relatable, but that’s not the case. He means it lovingly, and I take it as almost a reassurance.
Now: time to connect all of this.
It’s not like declaring my majors or minor is literally granting me access to some elusive group; there are plenty of others strewn throughout campus. There is, however, a type of unity to it, especially with the professors. Declarations show that you’re in it for the long haul, not just for the sake of taking a class or fulfilling a requirement (the curse of liberal arts education). I can enter a class and it won’t be, “oh, look at the pretty blonde girl fulfilling the core curriculum….” It’s undeniable that I’m invested in my education. By declaring, I’m essentially meeting the Wizard, embracing my inner ambitious freak. And, believe it or not, I love it.